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-   -   I Hate to Rain on the Parade (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=20829)

Mike8 10-18-2003 11:45 AM

I Hate to Rain on the Parade
 
But am I the only one that doesn't see this 'perfect system' being carried out flawlessly by the players?

There were numerous breakdowns against a very weak Pittsburgh lineup. Washington has the worst defense in the league; a completely dysfunctional unit, and brought no effort against the Canadiens. Same deal for the Leafs.

Ottawa has been the only decent team Montreal has faced and the Sens soundly whipped the Habs.

Granted, this Hab team is playing as a unit, has added sandpaper, and is working harder with some more confidence and more defined roles. That's wonderful, and kudos to the coach and players for coming prepared. But this is still not a good team. They're still very flawed in their own zone and in the transition game.

One can argue that the Habs' system just lulled the opposition to sleep, but I would argue that the opposition never showed any signs of being awake to begin with.

I'm wondering if anyone else remains cautiously optomistic. Or even worse: cynical, about this team's recent success.

Kirk Muller 10-18-2003 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike8
But am I the only one that doesn't see this 'perfect system' being carried out flawlessly by the players?

There were numerous breakdowns against a very weak Pittsburgh lineup. Washington has the worst defense in the league; a completely dysfunctional unit, and brought no effort against the Canadiens. Same deal for the Leafs.

Ottawa has been the only decent team Montreal has faced and the Sens soundly whipped the Habs.

Granted, this Hab team is playing as a unit, has added sandpaper, and is working harder with some more confidence and more defined roles. That's wonderful, and kudos to the coach and players for coming prepared. But this is still not a good team. They're still very flawed in their own zone and in the transition game.

One can argue that the Habs' system just lulled the opposition to sleep, but I would argue that the opposition never showed any signs of being awake to begin with.

I'm wondering if anyone else remains cautiously optomistic. Or even worse: cynical, about this team's recent success.

This is very true, I honestly can't see them keeping this up, or them keeping up with their opponents when they hit mid season form. The breakdowns are still very much there. As good as the system is in theory, players like Dackell, Audette, and Perreault will forever struggle at it because either they don't care, aren't good enough along the boards, too weak etc....

I am optomistic, but worried, the fact they are showing more energy and willingness is a positive, but this team may simply not be good enough.

Go Habs Go 10-18-2003 12:10 PM

You are totally right that this team is simply not good enough. We have talent but we still need a lot more if we want to make a significant splash in the playoffs. On the bright side, as long as they give an honest effort, I'm content. And we won't really know if this system really works, until they play a legitimate team like Philly or New Jersey. Although they got killed by Ottawa, it was the first game and maybe they were still adjusting to the system. Toronto had an awful game, Washington's injuries and weak defence contributed to their downfall and against Pittsburgh, they seemed a little too sure of themselves, they were making risky passes etc. I'm not sold on this system yet until I see more games against different types of teams but I am happy that they are playing with more emotion and determination.

Chehabi 10-18-2003 12:11 PM

I am just hopeing that we manange to keep a winning record until Koivu comes back. Its important to consider as well that since we are a smaller and weaker team, we will wear out as the season progresses as well.

PrairieHabber 10-18-2003 12:14 PM

You make some good points. I am cautiously optimistic however one thing I have noticed about this club is the ability to soundly defeat a struggling opponent. Those kinds of victories were difficult to find last year. The hockey club will have a good test when it faces Detroit and Ottawa again this week. I am not changing my realistic pre-season expectations that they won't make the playoffs, but I am enjoying this pleasant surprise. It's possible that Julien's "system" will help the club stay more competitive during the rebuilding stage but it's much too early to tell.

Garnet 10-18-2003 12:16 PM

Its great
 
The Habs are getting a few points but I haven't bought into the hype just yet. You have to give the team at least 20 games and see what happens. But the next week will be a good test. TO tonight, Detroit, NYI, and Ottawa next week. I hoping for at least .500 by this time at week. I like the system tho and I think Montreal can beat alot of Eastern teams like, Florida, Carolina, Washington, Boston, Buffalo, NYI, and the Rangers with it. so I predict somewhere between a 8-10 place finish this year.

Souffle 10-18-2003 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike8
But am I the only one that doesn't see this 'perfect system' being carried out flawlessly by the players?

There were numerous breakdowns against a very weak Pittsburgh lineup. Washington has the worst defense in the league; a completely dysfunctional unit, and brought no effort against the Canadiens. Same deal for the Leafs.

Ottawa has been the only decent team Montreal has faced and the Sens soundly whipped the Habs.

Granted, this Hab team is playing as a unit, has added sandpaper, and is working harder with some more confidence and more defined roles. That's wonderful, and kudos to the coach and players for coming prepared. But this is still not a good team. They're still very flawed in their own zone and in the transition game.

One can argue that the Habs' system just lulled the opposition to sleep, but I would argue that the opposition never showed any signs of being awake to begin with.
.

Well, it's ridiculous to ever say that a team implements a "perfect" system "flawlessly." Even the Sens and Devils have system breakdowns from time to time.

The single greatest improvement so far has been precisely defensive zone coverage and the transition game. This, in essence, is the Senators style.

Far from being overly defensive, the system operates on the principle that because one cannot score without the puck, the team focus is foremost on positioning without the puck. Against the Sens, the Habs tried to force the play, making mistakes in the process, which the Sens then buried.

It's a game of patience: waiting for the other team to over-commit, taking them out of position, and so open up counter-attack lanes. Again, this is precisely one of the biggest improvements so far: the Habs have been pretty successful on the counter-attack with a) good crisp first passes out of the zone by the d-men b) generating speed by the forwards through the neutral zone.

The tell-tale sign is that the majority of goals for the Habs so far has directly involved a defenceman, either by starting the play from the back end (a la Brisebois) or jumping into the play late (Souray's goal from Juneau). In either case, it is a result of a counter-attack that takes advantage of catching the other team flatfooted and out of position.

Of course it's too early to tell whether the Habs will have a lot of success this year. But in every game except against the Sens, the Habs have scored first, which makes it much easier to play their system, as other teams then start taking chances, leaving them more vulnerable to the counter-attack. It is mainly a question of whether youth can practice patience.

RE-HABS 10-18-2003 01:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike8
But am I the only one that doesn't see this 'perfect system' being carried out flawlessly by the players?

There were numerous breakdowns against a very weak Pittsburgh lineup. Washington has the worst defense in the league; a completely dysfunctional unit, and brought no effort against the Canadiens. Same deal for the Leafs.

Ottawa has been the only decent team Montreal has faced and the Sens soundly whipped the Habs.

Granted, this Hab team is playing as a unit, has added sandpaper, and is working harder with some more confidence and more defined roles. That's wonderful, and kudos to the coach and players for coming prepared. But this is still not a good team. They're still very flawed in their own zone and in the transition game.

One can argue that the Habs' system just lulled the opposition to sleep, but I would argue that the opposition never showed any signs of being awake to begin with.

I'm wondering if anyone else remains cautiously optomistic. Or even worse: cynical, about this team's recent success.

It is the begining of the season so one would think the system would only improve over time, we have had break downs because it is still a learning process, give the boys another 78 games and you'll see a steady improvement from the team breaking down and consistancy there instead of inconsistancy.

loudi94 10-18-2003 01:16 PM

For me this season is about developing and beating the teams that they're supposed to beat. That should be enough to get them in the playoffs.
Teams I expect them to lose to are: Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, NJ, Ottawa, Philadelphia and Vancouver. Still, there's no reason why they can't beat these teams too once and a while.

This team is good enough to make the playoffs. Right now they are catching a lot of breaks which won't last all season, but their work ethic is great. Combine Theo/Garon making the saves when needed with the hard work and this team will succeed. No cup in the near future, but they will have a chance to win more often than not.

montreal 10-18-2003 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike8
But am I the only one that doesn't see this 'perfect system' being carried out flawlessly by the players?

There were numerous breakdowns against a very weak Pittsburgh lineup. Washington has the worst defense in the league; a completely dysfunctional unit, and brought no effort against the Canadiens. Same deal for the Leafs.

Ottawa has been the only decent team Montreal has faced and the Sens soundly whipped the Habs.

Granted, this Hab team is playing as a unit, has added sandpaper, and is working harder with some more confidence and more defined roles. That's wonderful, and kudos to the coach and players for coming prepared. But this is still not a good team. They're still very flawed in their own zone and in the transition game.

One can argue that the Habs' system just lulled the opposition to sleep, but I would argue that the opposition never showed any signs of being awake to begin with.

I'm wondering if anyone else remains cautiously optomistic. Or even worse: cynical, about this team's recent success.


I agree Mike. I do like that they are skating harder then last year, but they still have a lot of holes to fix. They still have trouble tieing up the man down low, and the puck pursuit is not good enough overall. It's still so early, but I'm not sold yet. Well see what happens, but at least it's good to see some improvement. Souray has surprised me along with Ribeiro somewhat. Souray seems faster, and so does Ribs. But Ribeior will have problems down low all season long. His lack of lower body strength wil cause problems for him.

caper13 10-18-2003 01:39 PM

well i have to agree with mike8 i also noticed it too but i think it is growing pains i guess we will not really know until at least xmas until everyone plays and players are either sent down or gone right now we have too much of everything and i dont know if thats good or bad. :dunno:

Joe Malone 10-18-2003 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike8
Ottawa has been the only decent team Montreal has faced and the Sens soundly whipped the Habs.

I'm wondering if anyone else remains cautiously optomistic. Or even worse: cynical, about this team's recent success.


Soundly whipped? A bit of an overstatement, I would say. We got into penalty trouble in the first, resulting in two power play goals, and a 3 - 1 deficit starting the second. But we outshot the Sens in the second and third, and overall in the game, and definitely outplayed them in the third. We won't be the only team in the league to have trouble playing catch-up with the Sens this year.

As for the system, it's working, so far. Perfect, no, never will be. We've caught some teams off guard, and that will not happen from here on in. The next few games will test our mettle.

We would have lost those games last year. We're improved, appreciate it.

Habsolution 10-18-2003 01:50 PM

Obviously we're not a .750 team but I think we're still much better than last year. And I was saying it before the start of the season. I believed in our chances to makes the POs and I still believe in them.

The players obviously do not play the system perfectly (if that's even possible). It's a work in progress. It may take a full year of learning for everyone to be exactly on the same page. But they're working hard, seems to have better chemistry and I feel they're better in every facets of the game than last year.

There's no reasons to get overly excited about this nice start but there's no reasons to be down about it or even cynical IMO. The big difference is that you see that these guys are willing to work and learn together.

Tonight's game against the leafs is an important game. The leafs are gonna be real hungry after the 4-0 trouncing and their pitiful beginning of a season. If we can win this one the 2 points are going to help us big time when we're competing for a playoffs spot later this season.

Habsolution 10-18-2003 01:53 PM

What's nice is that Theo didn't even need to steal games for us. If he starts stealing games watch out !

Munchausen 10-18-2003 02:18 PM

No matter the system, we're going to lose most of our matchups in the long run against powerful teams like Detroit, Colorado, Ottawa, etc. But where the system will be good, is against teams that don't have the fastest or most talented skaters, or not enough of them to beat the trap all night long. That's where we should be able to improve in the winning departement.

In regards to last game poor 2 first periods, of course, even if the players will serve you the cliche that you cannot take a team too lightly, I beleive that's exactly what happened against Pittsburgh. They must have thought "piece of cake, easy win, the crappiest team in the NHL" and didn't play an uptempo game for that. They woke up in the 3rd. I think we will play much stronger tonight. On the other hand, Toronto will also.

I think we can make the playoffs with that system just for the fact that Koivu isn't in the lineup yet and we're winning, also we have a strong and deep D, and Theo's back (it seems) where he left 2 years ago.

danboulie 10-19-2003 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caper13
well i have to agree with mike8 i also noticed it too but i think it is growing pains i guess we will not really know until at least xmas until everyone plays and players are either sent down or gone right now we have too much of everything and i dont know if thats good or bad. :dunno:

Actually, we don't ahve an overabundance of talent. That's a problem i'd like to see the Habs be stuck with.

This could go either way. MOntreal could get tired out and not play as well as the season wears on, or they could get more accustomed to the system and start to play even better hockey, it's all still up in the air right now.

officeglen 10-19-2003 08:19 AM

I'm impressed with the 'system'/coaching - and this is from a Sens fan - the Habs are able to integrate younger players into the lineup, can introduce call-ups when required, and will be in most games - last night they lost 1-0 but had chances - as Jacques Martin would say now it is just 'attention to detail' and playing disciplined - not taking stupid penalties in particular. The only problem with the 'system'/coaching is the Habs will not get a very high #1 pick in the next draft, something that would be available if one had a poor coach. I expect that when the Sens play the Habs next Saturday the game and result will be closer.

tinyzombies 10-19-2003 09:41 PM

I'm not sure what the sytem is actually. I've seen them trap, then I've seen 2-1-2 hockey. They do look a lot more solid in the neutral zone when they play the trap because of their speed.

Pittsburgh was doing the same thing, they were playing anti-hockey (except Fata and that other Russian kid, who were flying).

Against Washington, we were more aggressive with the 2-1-2 it seemed. Their D is terrible right now.

Against Toronto in the first game it seemed we played a lot more cautious than we did on Saturday. We turned the puck over too much on Saturday. I thought Perreault was terrible. Brisebois played with more energy, but he did make two big mistakes, tho he didn't pay for them.

I haven't been able to figure out anything special about what they are doing. Seems like a simple trap when they play the trap and the 2-1-2 isn't an overly aggressive forecheck either. Nothing special it seems. Seems like they are keeping it loose on purpose to see what the kids will do, perhaps?

Habs 10-19-2003 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike8
But am I the only one that doesn't see this 'perfect system' being carried out flawlessly by the players?

Sooner, or later, the team's weaknesses will be exposed. They have been evident in a few games, but the effort has been there as well. This has been a pleasant surprise so far.

I wonder if CJ can keep the team commited to an honest effort the rest of the way?

One thing we can be certain of though.... the same people who are praising certain players now, will be calling for their heads shortly.

mcphee 10-20-2003 03:56 AM

The positives I see are that the guys who you want to see show something, are. Hainsey appears more poised and competitive than I thought he'd be. Ryder and Ward are getting involved. Higgins has shown a few flashes in limited icetime. Markov and Zednik are continuing to prove that they are solid NHL players. Theo has been sharp, and Ribeiro has been surprising. Guys like Perreault and Audette haven't surprised me as they are what they always have been. Neither plays a sound all around game, but both will put up some points. The last year of the contract guys matter in that they will have a lot to do in whether or not they make the playoffs, but have little to do with the future of the team.

tinyzombies 10-20-2003 09:11 AM

(off topic) I'm still a bit disappointed with Hainsey. If Souray can add quickness and "urgency" (as AS said) to his game, then why not Hainsey? He is playing a more safe game, but I'd still like to see more strength from him. I think it might take a couple years in the weight room before we see the real Hainsey.

Team_Spirit 10-20-2003 09:23 AM

http://www.angelfire.com/nd/habclub/images/ACADIE1A.JPG

Habber 10-20-2003 11:35 AM

I am very encouraged by our early success and I think it can continue. Sure we are going to have breakdowns and bad games, it happens, but when you see a team commit to defence like we have early on it can lead to good things.

I like to look to the last couple of seasons to gauge our improvement and I think it has been astounding. Previously, we were always outshot and outchanced and had to rely on Theo to bail us out. This year we're playing much tighter. Whether it gets us into the playoffs I don't know but if we have a solid defensive year things will definately be looking up for next year.

The only danger is that we play too passive, which I think we did against TO. We seemed hesitant to go for loose pucks for fear of losing defensive positioning. But as we get more accustomed to the system, guys will be better able to know when they can take chances.

Darz 10-20-2003 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike8

Granted, this Hab team is playing as a unit, has added sandpaper, and is working harder with some more confidence and more defined roles. That's wonderful, and kudos to the coach and players for coming prepared. But this is still not a good team. They're still very flawed in their own zone and in the transition game.

I'm wondering if anyone else remains cautiously optomistic. Or even worse: cynical, about this team's recent success.

I would say I'm still cautiously optomistic (still figure we will make the playoffs), but there is one thing you forgot...our Hart/Vezina winning goalie is looking alot more like the Theo of two years ago vs the Theo of last year.

tinyzombies 10-20-2003 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darz
I would say I'm still cautiously optomistic (still figure we will make the playoffs), but there is one thing you forgot...our Hart/Vezina winning goalie is looking alot more like the Theo of two years ago vs the Theo of last year.

I just hope Julien can hold their attention. It's normal for a team to come out of the blocks strong. We did the same thing last year if you recall against the Rangers in New York.

Whether they can maintain the commitment to neutral zone play is another thing. I don't think Gainey will put up with a lack of commitment though.


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